Cub Stricker

Second Base
  • Card series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Cleveland
  • Team: Spiders
  • League: National League

John A. Stricker (nee Streaker) (1859-1937) played second base over an eleven year career in the majors. The native Philadelphian broke in with his hometown Athletics in 1882 and stayed for four seasons. He never caught fire in Philly, batting a meager .239 during his tenure there. The Athletics consigned Cub to the Southern Association’s Atlanta squad before the 1886 season. The following year Stricker was dealt to Cleveland. During his time on the shores of Lake Erie, Stricker saw the team morph from the American Association’s Blues to the NL’s Spiders and, in the 1890 uprising of the Players’ League, Cub became an Infant. He boosted his average a bit and was much more productive on offense overall. He emerged as a fairly adept base-stealer, swiping 86 in his first year with the Blues, his best on the basepaths for his career. Having never been a regular with the Athletics, Stricker was an everyday player throughout his time in Ohio and continued that pattern in 1891 when he moved to Boston with the AA’s Reds. Thereafter, Cub’s performance and plate appearances dwindled rapidly and he bounced from club to club for the remainder of his big league experience. Two episodes late in his career give evidence of a fiery temperament that made Stricker a durable competitor and even gave him a shot at managing while sometimes exposing a darker side. On at least two occasions Cub couldn’t resist the baiting of rowdy fans. His tour as manager of the Browns ended when, after a losing streak, Stricker leaped into the stands to punch a heckler. With the Senators in ‘93, in a game back home in Philadelphia, he couldn’t abide the fans’ jeers. He claimed later that the ball he loosed into the stands was meant to hit only the low fence. Unfortunately, it bounced into the stands and broke the nose of a paying customer, leading to Stricker’s arrest.

  • Out of the majors following his contretemps, Cub played minor league ball for several more years, primarily in Providence for the Clamdiggers/Grays into 1896. He had a final go of it with Chester of the Pennsylvania State League in 1901 at the ripe age of 42
  • Stricker received the nickname Cub due to his diminutive stature
  • Stricker enjoys four known poses in the Old Judge canon, but is credited with six different cards as two cards are known in two different cropped-image variations each.

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